Union members at Verizon will see strong wage gains and pension increases for future retirees under a new tentative agreement reached with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communications Workers of America, say IBEW leaders.
“Coming off the 8-week strike of just two years ago, I’m happy each side understood how important it was that we put divisive issues behind us so that we could focus together on the customers and the competition.”
The new agreement would extend the current collective bargaining agreement, which covers more than 34,000 workers, to August 2023 and includes a 11.2 percent wage increase over the next four years.
The existing contract was ratified in 2016 after a 49-day strike.
“The lines of communication have improved after two strikes that hurt the company. This new contract is a win for both sides,” said Robert Speer, business manager of IBEW Local 827, which represents approximately 4,000 Verizon employees in New Jersey.
“We were able to stick to the important issues of wages, medical benefits and the duration of the contract, and I’m happy to bring it to our members, where I’m confident it will be ratified.”
The agreement will now be sent to IBEW and CWA members for ratification.
“I’m proud of our IBEW leaders at Verizon, who stuck together and hammered out a strong agreement that only raises standards for telecommunications workers,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “I hope it represents a new positive chapter in our relationship with Verizon, one based on collaboration, not confrontation.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.